I guess by now, we all know that Coronavirus is real and it is touring the world and ready to ruin lives. Due to the unpredictable uncertainty this pandemic have caused, the global economy is highly affected. Companies are collapsing, staff are being laid off, investors are pulling back, countries are being lockdown, governments are confused and don’t have answers which leave the citizens unsure of the way forward. Although, this is scary but on the brighter side, at least hygiene is becoming essential to everyone and digital is taking over rapidly.
Considering all of the above, I have seen that other countries are working out the necessary modalities to minimize the spread of this virus. They are empowering their health team to be capable in order to manage the situation in case of any eventuality. In the process of eventuality, several health care workers have lost their lives while caring for others (May their souls rest in perfect peace, and may light perpetual, shine upon then as well as all faithfully departed ones). Others are still going through the difficulty of dealing with the horrible symptoms of the virus. We’ve also seen retired nurses and doctors from around the world put on their coats and gloves to get back in the field just to save lives. (Health Care workers and Teachers are the real celebrities)
We’ve seen citizens/goodwill foundations and organizations of various countries who are financially stable contribute thousands and millions of dollars/pounds/euros towards helping in the process. Some companies are also channeling their CSR initiatives toward helping the less fortunate, homeless, the sick, and also those who have lost their jobs based on their organizations inability to afford to keep them at this point.
My concerns are as followed:
1. Dear Government of Liberia, what is your plan/strategy toward this situation and does that plan rollout? As we are all aware that we do not have good hospitals, a lot of professional and passionate health workers, as well as the necessary equipments to work with. What is the plan here? Because bare in mind, donors themselves are facing the economic crisis.
2. Officially, there are 10 cases being reported at the moment. At what point is the airport and all other entry points into the country going to be shutdown? Is there a plan to trace all those who came in contact with those people who are ill? And so forth with those other individuals? What is the backup plan for expanding the quarantine center just in case? As the say all the time on the news that “Africa should prepare for the worse.”
3. Considering the scares and trauma Liberians suffered during the deadly Ebola crisis, is there a possibility to enforce less movement (social distancing) within the country? By this, I mean initiating a lockdown and only having essentials business functioning such as hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, grocery stores/supermarkets, banks (with minimal branches and less staff, well protected to operate daily transactions or better still, have banks introduce online banking and reinforce the usage of the ATMs), filling stations, on the go restaurants (no dining in), introduce E-commerce, and minimize commuting to localities only except for logical reasons, etc.
4. Is it possible to have a weekly virtually briefings by the COVID-19 response team head to give all necessary updates and have the press ask relevant questions? I am sure, this would be very helpful to the a Liberian people.
5. Also, due to the havoc in our economy, is it possible for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to partner with the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Commerce and the National Social Security to work with FMCGs, Financial Institutions, Insurance Companies, Telcos, Automobile Companies, Hotels, Sports Betting Companies as well as Grocery Stores/Supermarkets, NGOs and individuals who see the need to give back to society with no political intention to initiate a system that will be able to feed at least every household across the country? Remember, the average Liberian does not earn enough to provide 3 courses of quality meals under normal circumstances not to talk about a lockdown. Such aid, could be a great help.
5. Is it also possible to have a more stable utility system put in place during these trying times? It becomes very disturbing to be disconnected from running water and electricity.
6. Can Rent Control sanction all landlords/house owners/housing facility companies to forgo at least 3 months rent due to this psychological and traumatic situation we find ourselves experiencing as a people? This will help ease a lot of burden.
7. Is it possible for the government through the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Health to partner with as many local media houses, print houses, digital companies, bloggers, vloggers, etc. to translate the statutory preventive measures into various different dialects and dissemination the information across the country via their platforms?
All of these and more could be very beneficial to saving lives. I look forward to hearing from you.
He who stands out